Learn How Great Teams Reduce Conflict in their Services Your team may encounter frustrated, angry and distressed people. Effective training can help your people to deal with those encounters expertly and keep everyone safe in your organisation. Your team are doing their very best to meet the needs of those they encounter in your workplace (read more)
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More effective, engaging and efficient training using SCENA
Your training team is under more pressure to work with fewer resources but to deliver better training - how?
Let us work with you to develop your training team, using cutting-edge Research and Evidence which super-charges the effects you get from training.
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Talk with us about how to create training interventions which are effective and engaging, based on research and evidence.
Hospitals and Healthcare
Local Government & Citizen Services
The power of evidence-based training
High Staff Engagement
Because of the immediate relevance your staff see in your course design and delivery, they are engaged, motivated and energised during and after the training.
Better Transfer to the Workplace
Because sessions are all driven by your own scenarios, issues and challenges with the people your people meet at work, it has immediate relevance and transfers directly to the day-to-day workplace.
"Time Well Spent"
Teams attending your training get many, many opportunities to learn and practice their new skills during 'countless reps' of the target skills, actively learning in every session. You can get rid of those boring powerpoints!
Measurable Change Happens
With highly targeted new skills, your teams can make measurable changes to their interactions and truly realise your organisation's safety ethos, focussing on dignity and respect, safety and wellbeing.
NEW ERA OF PUBLIC SAFETY A GUIDE TO FAIR, SAFE, AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNITY POLICING:
Policing Full Report
Recent research has suggested that Officer Safety Training in some forces may not be adequately preparing officers for the heightened risks of their work in the current climate, where assault on police are increasing.
Since 2006, I have audited a host of personal safety and restraint training programs, some of which have dusty histories that go back over 50 years with connections to asian martial arts, and some of which are more modern methods that have come to prominence only in the last couple of decades. Every trainer I have met is convinced that there are "better tactics" and usually that their tactics are the best.
The focus on ‘tactics’ and ‘techniques’ is understandable (and it is even fun sometimes!) however as I hope to explain, the key difference may be in the teaching and NOT in the technical.
BACKGROUND TO 'OST'
There is an assault on a police officer roughly every 22 minutes in the UK.
When such an assault happens, officers rely on their Officer Safety Training (OST) to survive and resolve the incident. In this sense it has some similarities to the Breakaway training our NHS clinical staff receive, and the self-defence training that our Prison Service staff receive, in that its purpose is to prepare at-risk workers for the occupational use of force in their workplace. When the training includes the control and restraint of violently resisting subjects, it may be referred to as Arrest and Self-Defence Skills (ASDS).
I also learned that although most police officers attend officer safety training on an annual basis, the nature, design, content, delivery and crucially the effectiveness of this training is not very well understood. Research into the effectiveness of officer safety training is sparse, however in recent years those who have cast their eyes on this part of police training have been looking at it from a few new and different angles.
CONSEQUENCES OF POOR TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS
Let’s pause for a moment to consider the importance of OST and ASDS training in terms of the police officer, the police services and the public they serve. A quick Google search for police use of force will render story after story of tragic incidents where often vulnerable people have died in police custody where the arrest, control and restraint methods used during their final moments are put under intense scrutiny.
“What the research tells us is that highly skilled police officers tend to use force very effectively. They've got a wider range of techniques to use. And they generally use less force in confrontational situations. However, less skilled officers are more likely to use more force and use force inappropriately. The reason for this is often because of fear.” --Prof. Chris Cushion
I always look at these incidents as multiple tragedies: the officers involved face personal, legal, emotional and organisational stress in addition to the loss, heart-ache, grief and frustration of the relatives of those who lose their lives.
Arguably, beyond the cost and return on investment of providing this training from an organisational point of view, officers and the public deserve to have confidence that OST and ASDS training is achieving its aims: greater safety, less risk and consistency in the appropriate use of force.
THE WHAT-WE-TEACH PROBLEM
Early in my career, I was escorted into a room at a national-level agency and shown a single, security-restricted copy of the ‘Self-Defence’ training programme which was being taught to at-risk staff. My sense of anticipation before opening that document caused my heart to race. You can only imagine my disappointment, however, when I discovered that the ‘security restricted’ material was no better than was available to anyone who can get their hands on the still on-sale 1960s-era Japanese Karate books on the Martial Arts shelf at your local bookstore!
The truth is, there are probably as many different approaches and opinions about the physical management of confrontations as there are people interested in them.
In fact my friend and mentor Gary Klugiewicz from Vistelar, a global consulting and training company focussing on the entire spectrum of human conflict, has often repeated the following: “defensive tactics are a matter of opinion”
THE HOW-WE-TEACH SOLUTION?
In 2014 I met researcher and coaching expert Prof. Chris Cushion, who has for thirty years specialised in coaching and trainer-education. We started a conversation about the efficacy of using a training methodology in which the tactics were based on behavioural, observable effects of violence and the instinctive responses involved in kinetic high-stress violent encounters. We had many conversations and spent more than a few hours in the training hall exploring the issues.
Chris was already experienced in martial arts prior to turning his professional eye on OST and ASDS. One of his first hypotheses that caught my eye was that, while so many of us trainers are wrapped up in the merits of individual tactics for physical intervention, personal safety and restraint, perhaps as a sector we were missing something that he believed that was glaringly obvious.
Perhaps, he said, it was HOW we taught and not what we taught that would make the difference to our learners when, while single-crewed and responding to a call out, they needed to perform tactics robustly and at a high level of skill, with very little notice or preparation, in the context of their working day.
“Obviously, there's huge pressure, financial pressures, resources in training. And how can we do this in a short amount of time and for less money. The purpose of this research overall is try to understand, well what's being done. Is it effective? Does it produce highly skilled officers?” -- Prof. Chris Cushion
We have collaborated extensively to address what may be one of the biggest problems in our industry (learner performance under real-world pressure), while also pointing out the fact that maybe, just maybe, there were already evidence-based and well researched models from the field of coaching, learning and performance which we could lean on to improve the results we were getting with our learners.
While I set out on a professional journey to change the way I and my team of trainers at Dynamis would plan and design and deliver our training in the education, health, social care, hospital security sectors based on his advice, Chris focused his attention on what was happening in the police services and attempted to discover how officer safety training was being delivered to arguably the most at-risk group of workers in the UK in terms of physical assault risk.
His feeling is that the degree of contextualisation, the practice design and the coaching behaviours which shape the learning environment has a large effect on learning, real world performance and therefore true officer safety outcomes.
The results of his study into officer safety training at one police service were published in a Journal of Policing article, published by Oxford University press.
Although limited to one police service’s training provision, some of his findings from this study were :
- a lot of the officers’ learning time was spent standing around or in transitions
- there was a lot of time where the learning was passive (simply watching or listening)
- consequently, paired work and functional time actually practicing tactics was limited
- mainly Blocked Practice did not mirror the job task and was disjointed from real-world timelines
- program design was not uniform from one session to another
- content differed from one OST course to another
- feedback on performance, from the perspective of the individual learner, was limited
A key issue that he noted was that the trainers themselves had low self-awareness, which happens to be (I learned) extremely common among coaches across the entire domain of coaching and instruction. What this means is that coaching and training staff may have certain beliefs about the effectiveness of the program they are teaching which do not match the reported experiences of their learners or the confidence of those learners to persevere in high-risk encounters.
“This is the reality: Violence is chaotic. It's pressure. It's chaos. It's aggressive and very surprising. The training, however, is isolated, low pressure, very predictable, and very linear. The similarity between the training and what officers have to face on the street? It is very different.” -- Prof. Chris Cushion
There were many other notable points made in the study. Overall, what the study suggests is that the learners - our frontline police officers - who need to use and rely on their personal safety training on a daily basis, may have a low level of confidence that the training they are receiving is effective, and crucially it is possible that their trainers may have little awareness of this.
Watch our 7-Video Introduction to the SCENA approach
Professor Chris Cushion discusses, in seven short videos, how established evidence and research helps you design and deliver more engaging, effective and efficient training courses in Conflict and Physical Interventions.
Our Partners and Accreditation
Collaborative Partner with Loughborough UNiversity
In collaboration with Loughborough University School of Sport, Health and Exercise, Dynamis has been developing an Evidence-based and Research-informed pathway for the teaching and learning of effective Conflict skills since 2015, called SCENA.
Member of The Institute of
Dynamis is a Quality Award Centre with the ICM, a recognised accrediting body in the U.K. for workplace training in the prevention and management of workplace violence.
Regional representative for 9 Attitudes behavioural tactics
Dynamis represents the 9 Attitudes system, a fully behavioural approach to self-protection and physical control which is based on the observable realities of physical confrontation.
Book your free Talk About Training.
Every trainer has unique needs and so you need a unique approach to your development. Our free training needs assessment is a 30-minute process where we identify where you are at, and if SCENA will help you.
Take Part in Train-the-Trainer Development using SCENA
You will learn a completely modern way of delivering training in communications, conflict and physical interventions, based on the latest evidence and research.
You deliver standout training which your learners rave about
Following your SCENA foundations training, you will start to see training design and delivery in a brand new way and your learners will engage and enjoy your courses like never before.
Gerard O'Dea // Director of Training at Dynamis
Hi and thanks for visiting our Train-The -Trainer webpage today.
In over 15 years of engaging in professional development myself and seeing the experiences of other trainers in our sector, I know the importance of GOOD continuing professional development opportunities.
Resources are scarce and organisations need to know that their trainers will bring valuable insights, new methodologies and functional fixes for real problems back from their CPD.
At Dynamis we have been pioneering modern and functionally effective training methods for both verbal and physical skills in preventing and managing conflict since 2006.
The result is SCENA - a collaboration with Loughborough University which brings the latest evidence and research together with thousands of hours of training experience to create a new pathway for teaching and learning Conflict skills.
Joins us and our team of SCENA 'Wizards', who create unforgettable, effective training experiences.
We use SCENA to deliver satisfaction...
Best Course I have attended in the NHS...
“This was by far the best course I’ve attended in the NHS. Fit for purpose, current, relevant and extremely well delivered. 10/10 for delivery, professionalism and structure.”
Andy W. // Security Management Specialist
Informative and Enjoyable...
“A very professionally run training course, Gerard was a very knowledgeable and relaxed instructor who put the group at ease and made the day both informative and enjoyable.”
Stephen B. // Ambulance Care Assistant
Why we use SCENA in our training design:
Brought in real life situations...
"I was very nervous about this training but it was a great environment and he made us feel at ease and was encouraging. I liked how he brought in real life situations to make the training more relatable.”
Natalie C. // Dementia Care Senior Support
Knowledgeable and Interactive...
“Very approachable, knowledgable and interactive facilitator who encouraged group discussions and used personal experience to back up the theory/learning”
Children's Respite Centre Senior Carer // Peterborough City Council.
When: SCENA Train-the-Trainer Foundation Course takes 5 Days of in-person training, plus project work back in your workplace..
Who: Trainers coming on our courses are usually experienced professionals in their own right, with training experience in the Conflict Management, Customer Service, Personal Safety or Physical Interventions domain. They hold Level 3 Qualifications in physical intervention, conflict management and breakaway/self-protection and sometimes already hold Level 3 Teaching qualifications.
Where: Training is held at Loughborough University or another high-quality training venue chosen to match your needs.
How: Your Coach Development Team deliver this course using a mix of pre-course learning, lecture/presentation, Q&A, teaching practice and scenario rehearsal. The final assessment is based on a workplace project submitted after the in-person course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the training carried out?
Usually the training venue will be our client's responsibility and full details of this are made clear around the time of booking so that you know what we are going to need to give your people the best possible experience of training with our team.
We have often helped our clients to source appropriate training venues, where that assistance was requested!
Due to the nature of our training approach, we often require a good-sized training room which has the capacity for your team to move around in and in which we can set up scenarios which are as close as we can get them to real-world applications of the material we teach your people.
What is the investment in training?
Our training costs are often calculated on a per-day basis and directly related to the Needs Analysis which we carry out with you.
We are constantly working to make sure that the investment level is reasonable and competitive.
We generally ask for an investment which takes into account the type of content we are going to work on with your staff, the numbers of staff involved, the risk level of the encounters they engage in and the number of days of training which will be required to get your people up to the proper standard.
We are VAT registered and all pricing sent to you is 'plus VAT at the prevailing rate'.
We also charge travel expenses which you should discuss with our training advisor so that these are as clear as possible as you book in your training course.
How quickly can I book training to happen?
Our training advisor is waiting to have a call with you to discuss your timelines and preferred schedule. We generally book training 4-6 weeks out from today, however we always have been able to respond to clients who need training 'as soon as possible' when urgent needs pop up. The sooner we talk with you, the sooner we can get the training in place!
How many people can attend a training course?
There are numerous formats which we use to deliver training with your team, whether it be a large group or a smaller team. We know that the best group sizes for learning depend on the complexity of the material to be covered, the amount of time we have with your people and also the constraints you may be working with in your budget and resources. Most of our clients put 12-16 people in our less-physically demanding training courses, and often fewer people than this into our more demanding courses. Let's talk about the best solution for your needs....
Is Dynamis training Accredited?
Dynamis has attained the respected Quality Award Centre status (QAC #2201) with the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), demonstrating our commitment to quality assurance and strict adherence to the most recent guidance on the management and prevention of workplace conflict. All our trainers are fully qualified and attend CPD development on a regular basis in accordance with ICM requirements.
Is the training suitable for my staff and my context?
Our goal is that you see a tremendous improvement in your team's ability to prevent and manage difficult encounters with the people in your service, so we focus on making sure that each training session with your people feels directly connected to their everyday work and is compliant with the relevant guidance which governs it.
From what I know of talking with learners on our Conflict Management courses for years, I am quite sure that many people would rather be punched in the head than spat in the face. I think that during the current crisis, we could add being intentionally coughed-at into the same category of assault. There’s a (read more)